The first time I saw Public, I was in my fall semester of sophomore year at Elon. Now, a college graduate, so much has happened between then and the most recent gig I've caught them at. I've fallen in and out of love, traveled to the other side of the world, and of course, graduated with my lifelong friends. And somewhere along the way, I got my hands on a camera
I count my first time out shooting as Hopscotch 2016, not even a year ago. But I recently realized that the first time I shot a gig was actually a Public show -- a little college set in rural Virginia.
After owning a camera for roughly a month, I decided to take myself, my friends, and my kit lens (18-135 f/3.5-5.6) (also--bars) to Ferrum College to see and shoot the show.
I was very timid about the whole thing. I tried to shoot exclusively from the back of the area, as no one was really standing terribly close to the stage. I didn't own my work, or the fact that I was working. Below are some shots from that night (January 2016).
Cut to August 3, 2017. A multitude of concerts, productions, events, and portraits under my belt and another Public show.
I drag myself, my friends, and a slightly better lens (17-55, f/2.8) to Rockwood Music Hall for Public's first headlining New York show on their first headlining tour. The fun thing about growth is watching others grow beside you.
Seeing Public release another EP, gain a dope fanbase and just give it their all as artists just a year or two older than me is truly restorative. I wanted to create the images to match the energy and love they put into their work.
Almost two years since I first picked up the camera. I continue to grow and change with every passing day and frame. I'm not totally sure where I'll be in another two years, or even in two months. Working in a creative field is one-way ticket to uncertainty, but having an outlet that allows me grab snapshots of my life and the lives of others is a treat. And being able to somehow follow along with others on their journeys is a gift in itself.
I talk about growth happening in public to also acknowledge that without working hard and sharing my work and re-editing and so on and so forth I wouldn't be in the spot I am right now. It's so important to just make as much stuff as possible. Not at all of it will be good. Most of it will be kind of okay. But then you have your gems that rise to the top and keep your finder burning. Make a lot of stuff. Make a lot of shit. Then make more shit. Eventually, you'll have some not-shit. But you can't get to that point without constantly sharing and growing.
Of course, a special thanks to Public for indulging all of my various journalistic and creative endeavors and supporting my silly, unapologetic behavior. Y'all keep my heart beating.